Typically, when we talk about weather conditions impacting a cruise itinerary, it is some time between late August and early October. Hurricane season stretches the span of time from late summer to fall, impacting at least a few cruises, every year.
In early October, Hurricane Matthew blew through the Caribbean, prompting cruise itinerary changes and leaving a path of destruction in his wake. Considering the time of year, most people probably assumed that the hurricane-related stories were over until 2017. However, a recent situation out of Central America reminds us that, when it comes to weather, sometimes you need to expect the unexpected.
On Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016, Tropical Storm Otto became Hurricane Otto. As a result, hurricane warnings were issued for Nicaragua and Costa Rica. One cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl decided to reroute its itinerary in order to avoid the storm.
Originally, the ship had planned to dock at Limon, Costa Rica. However, with the predicted impact that the hurricane could have on that area of Central America, the cruise operator made the safe choice. The re-routed itinerary kept the ship out at sea for an extra day, skipping Limon and docking at the next scheduled port, Roatan, Honduras, instead. Although the storm is a category 1, a cruise line can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting the lives of its passengers.
When it comes to the decision to steer a ship into a storm or around it, everyone is much better off if the cruise line makes the right choice to favor safety over monetary gain. Unfortunately, we know that this is not always the case. So, we are glad to know that, in this situation, Norwegian Cruise Line made a choice that they can firmly stand behind.
Passenger Safety Should Always Take Priority
With the Anthem of the Seas disaster still vivid in our memories, we applaud any cruise line that makes an effort to keep its passengers out of harm’s way. We understand that the cruise line is concerned with making their bottom line, and part of that bottom line involves making all of the scheduled stops. However, passenger safety should always come first.
Although this storm was indeed unexpected, we can rest assured knowing that everyone on board is likely to get home safe and sound. And while we would like to say that this is always the case, we know that, sadly it is not.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of cruise ship negligence, a maritime lawyer can help. We have experience handling cases against many major cruise lines, as well as experience handling cases that resulted from major hurricanes. So, you can rest assured that you do not have to handle your legal situation alone.
When you contact us, we’ll set up an initial consultation, listen to your story, and help you take the next best step. We are committed to fighting for you, until you get a result with which you can feel content.